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Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

Buttercups

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Swallowtail on Hawthorne

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Gardener's Dictionary

I found this little jewel in Reader’s Digest. It’s good to know there are others out there that share my pain.

I’d like to add one of my own:
Plastic: The only plant guaranteed to be deer proof.

Anyone have any to add? Please, you frustrated gardeners, let me know you’re out there!!

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honeysuckle

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Did you ever think you would be contemplating llama breath? Well, I’m going to give you some information that you might not have considered before. For the most part, llamas have very nice breath, mostly neutral, but often tinged with a slightly sweet smell of the fresh hay or grass they have been munching.

Prince grazing

Or better yet, sometimes their breath makes you think of Christmas, and you know that they have been browsing on their absolutely favorite food, white pine needles.

Santiago eats pine needles

Their second most favorite food is just coming into season: the wild spring onion. And you have no doubt in your mind at all when they have been indulging in this llama delicacy.

wild onions

I’m sure most all of you are familiar with this scourge. It thrives almost everywhere that the urban homeowner aspires to have a lush, green, weed free lawn. They are strangely pungent and whenever I smell them, I’m thrown back to a time in my childhood when my Dad would mow the yard and the air would reek of a Greek salad.

We did a llama trek this past weekend in the Shenandoah River State Park. Llama trekking is our weekend business. We guide our customers on an invigorating hike through the park and I prepare a 4 course picnic lunch which we enjoy along the way. The llamas carry all the food, linens, utensils, and even folding tables for our meal.

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This day, we stopped for lunch in a meadow overlooking the Shenandoah River. It was a glorious day, sunny and warm, and the river was dotted with red and green canoes. And the meadow was dotted with lush green spikes of wild onions. The llamas had an enjoyable break from the hike, grazing in the grass.

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When we went over to load the llamas up for the return hike, we were blown away by the rank stink of their breath. As we walked along the trail, we followed in the miasma of their onion breath. And we also discovered to our dismay that an overindulgence in wild onions tends to make llamas quite gassy.

Fortunately, as a counterpoint to the malodorous onions, was the beauty of the Virginia bluebells, which fortuitously were at their peak bloom that day.

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A little touch of the agony and the ecstasy.

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I took a jaunt around the farm yesterday morning with the pups. It was the first morning this spring that the temperature had been above freezing. It was beautiful, with just the earliest spring buds in evidence.

There are quite a few clumps of wild daffodils that pop up each year along the creek, vestiges of a long ago flood that left someone’s upstream garden bereft of flowers. This creek is named Gooney Run. The legend of the name comes from a time long ago when all of our section of Virginia was owned by Lord Fairfax, as a land grant from the king of England. This section of the Shenandoah Valley was his favored hunting grounds, and he had a lodge here. Supposedly, his beloved dog, Gooney, drowned in the creek and hence the creek was named in his memory.

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One of our favorite spring arrivals are the Marsh Marigolds. They get thicker and thicker each year and are a yellow carpet along the creek. I keep forgetting the real name of the flower and have nicknamed them the Gold Marshmallows.

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This forsythia is another victim of a flood. We originally planted it with 2 others about 15 years ago a quarter mile upstream from where it now sits. One year a big flood washed out about five feet of bank and took out the 3 forsythias. This one landed here and took root.

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And finally, after a vigorous romp, a nice cool down in the pond. Our cherry trees are a couple weeks behind those of the renowned Washington, DC Tidal Basin, but, sure enough, they are just starting to bloom. Maybe spring will arrive after all.

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